Dying with Dignity also known as Euthanasia (a less appealing term) is something we only think about when we are personally touched by the suffering of a loved one. I had never thought too much about it until recently. It has been a big year already for me. After Terry’s health challenges from November to January we were just getting our balance back when my mother who had been living with cancer, became gravely ill, her suffering extending for weeks as she waited impatiently to die. And it was she herself that brought up the subject of euthanasia.
Cancer Can Be Cruel
Mum was so brave facing her failing body with a clear mind till the last breath. Cancer can be a very cruel disease and watching her deterioration really made me think a lot about the lack of choice in Australia to ‘die with Dignity’. ‘Dying with dignity’ or euthanasia as a personal choice has a growing following, largely brought into the Australian public eye by Andrew Denton. Dying with Dignity, also know by a less kind word Euthanasia is the offering of a personal choice around one’s dying to avoid unnecessary pain and suffering. There are staunch believers in both sides of this debate but I wonder if should it come down to the very personal choice of the person who is dying?
My mother was ready to die, and she expressed this to us, her family and her carers many times. An animal lover herself, she would say, “I would not let an animal suffer like this. Take me to the vet, I am ready to go.”